Brenda Holloway was a beautiful young singer with a gorgeous voice, who started her recording career at Motown in 1964. She was always (in some ways) linked to other superstar female acts at the label, but she never was able to make the hurdle to super-stardom for herself. This collection has all of her career highlights. It's sad that there weren't more of them. "Every Little Bit Hurts" was a poignant ballad with crystal-clear imagery, written by Ed Cobb. It did very well on the Pop chart (#13), at a time when there was no Billboard Soul chart. It might have been a soul chart-topper. Brenda needed a follow-up hit, and she benefitted from Mary Wells' departure from Motown. Just as The Supremes were given the hits that Holland-Dozier-Holland had lined up for Wells, Brenda was given the Smokey Robinson-penned material. "When I'm Gone" and "Operator" were both already in the can on Mary Wells, but never saw the light of day as recorded by her. Brenda's version of "When I'm Gone" was another major hit (#12 R&B, #25 Pop). Smokey took over the reins of Brenda's career at that point. (Ed Cobb went on to write for another Motown newcomer, Gladys Knight, who even recorded a cover of "Every Little Bit Hurts.") But another hit was not in the offing, despite good material, and a planned second album was not released (the "Every Little Bit Hurts" album did well). Part of Brenda's problem at Motown was that every female at the label who wasn't Diana Ross, was considered to be second-tier (or even third-tier). Another, was being from Los Angeles, while the Motown machine was still in Detroit. Flying in from the coast to record vocals, is different from total involvement in a production. This was shown on her last big hit, the L.A.-recorded and Frank Wilson-produced, "Just Look What You've Done." This record was a sensation upon release, making it to #21 R&B, while inexplicably stalling at #69 Pop. Wilson did a good job of fashioning a Supremes-like sound for Holloway; so good, in fact, that when H-D-H left Motown, Wilson was chosen to be the next producer on The Supremes. (They hit big with his "Stoned Love" and "Up The Ladder To The Roof.") But that left Brenda Hollway, once again, without a producer. Brenda's next single on the Tamla label was her last. It was produced by Berry Gordy, himself, in a relaxed style-- kind of halfway between a pop standard and a soulful torch song. Brenda wrote the song, and would have preferred a more upbeat approach. Her single just reached the top 40 of both the Pop and R&B charts. But a blue-eyed soul group picked up the song and turned up the tempo, making it into a #1 Pop smash. The group was Blood, Sweat & Tears, and the song was "You've Made Me So Very Happy." Many, many covers of the song followed, so while Brenda Holloway saw her recording career come to an end just four years after it started, she also started to see some very healthy royalty checks in her mailbox twice a year!